The Coast Guard was required to deploy a helicopter on New Year’s Day to rescue an individual who had walked out onto the lava around Fagradalsfjall and did not trust themselves to make their way back again, the Suðurnes news service reports.
In a post made on Facebook about the event, the rescue squad Þorbjörn said that they had initially tried to reach the individual on foot, using a heat detecting device with each step over the lava towards the person in question. When that proved unwise, they called the Coast Guard for helicopter assistance.
This rescue squad has done their own measurements of the lava field’s stability, considering it has been about three month’s since it was last erupting in the area. They concluded that not every part of the lava field is safe to walk on; less so for those without the right equipment.
As such, it bears repeating that lava tends to cool on the surface first. It may even feel cool to the touch, but this does not necessarily mean that it is stable to walk on. It is therefore recommended to err on the side of caution and just avoid walking on the lava altogether–you can get a perfectly beautiful view of the eruption site and surrounding lava field without putting yourself, or others, at considerable and unnecessary risk.
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